From March 16, 2013: Ode to Barbecue: Food Poetry Sings a New Song
We tested several peels, both metal and wood, hoping to decide once and for all which material makes a better peel. We found it easy to define the dimensions of our ideal peel: A 14- to 16-inch peel will accommodate free-form bread loaves and is spacious enough for any pizza. Ideal handle length? A minimum of 8 inches is necessary to keep your hands a safe distance from the hot baking stone.
But trying to decide between metal and wood was not so easy. Both materials have their disadvantages. A wooden peel is tricky to store; if stored lying flat it will not dry evenly and may warp. The thickness of a wooden peel can make it difficult to slide neatly under an item ready to come out of the oven, and wood is harder to clean than metal. However, dough is more likely to stick to a metal peel. What to buy? If you're a traditionalist with space to hang the peel during storage, wood would be your favorite; metal, on the other hand, is practical and easy to store. Both types are easy to find for about $20.
But if you're willing to spend a little more, we recommend the Super Peel, which is simply a regular wooden peel outfitted with a pastry cloth that's threaded through the board like a conveyor belt. When well floured, the cloth proved to be essentially nonstick. It practically guarantees a perfectly round pizza and has a gentle touch with bread loaves.
Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) 6-inch Straight Boning Knife: Flexible
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
|★ ★ ★||★ ★ ★||$19.95|
Wsthof Classic Boning Knife
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasnt sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|★ ★||★ ★ ★||$99.95|
|Recommended with Reservations|
Mundial Boning Knife: Flexible
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
|★ ★||★ ★||$19.95|
Shun Gokujo Filet Knife
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
MAC Boning KnifeChef Series
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
Messermeister San Moritz Elite Flexible Boning Knife
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.